Sec.482 Cr.P.C.= When the very same issue is seized up before the civil court, the 2nd respondent cannot pursue criminal proceedings against the appellant for alleged offence under Sections 418, 419, 420, 467, 468 and 471 IPC and is liable to quashed. At the outset it is to be noted that the appellant has purchased the plot in question by sale deed dated 29th December,1993 which was registered on 5th January, 1994. The father of the 2nd respondent died on 3rd December, 1997. Though the registered sale deed is of 1994, the 2nd respondent filed suit which is pending in O.S. No.160 of 2008, only in the year 2008 seeking cancellation of sale deed alleging that the aforesaid sale deed was got executed by the appellant and his brother, by making use of the acquaintance with his father, in a false and fraudulent manner. There is no allegation of impersonation or forgery of signatures in the suit filed by the 2nd respondent. It is the case of the appellant that even the 2nd respondent is a signatory to the sale deed as a witness. Though the suit was filed in the year 2008, the 2nd respondent has chosen to file the criminal complaint only in the year 2012 alleging forgery and impersonation. With regard to the validity of the sale deed, matter is seized up before the competent civil court and it is for the civil court to decide whether any fraud is played or not by the appellant, on the late father of the 2nd respondent for obtaining the sale deed. When the very same issue is seized up before the civil court, the 2nd respondent cannot pursue criminal proceedings against the appellant for alleged offence under Sections 418, 419, 420, 467, 468 and 471 IPC. Although, it is contended by the learned counsel for the 2nd respondent that complaint filed is not barred by limitation but at the same time it appears, there is no reason for lodging private complaint in the year 2012. The sale deed on which basis the title and possession is claimed by the appellant was registered on 5th January, 1994, suit itself is filed nearly after 14 years. Even after filing of the suit on 24th August, 2008 there is further about 4 years’ delay in filing the criminal complaint against the appellant herein. Allowing the proceedings to go on against the appellant who is stated to be about 87 years, in the above set of facts, is nothing but abuse of the process. It is to be noted that there is no allegation of impersonation and forgery of the signatures in the suit filed by the 2nd respondent. In any event, when the suit filed by the 2nd respondent for cancellation of sale deed, is pending consideration before the competent court of law, the 2nd respondent cannot pursue his complaint in criminal proceedings by improving his case. Having regard to serious factual disputes which are of civil nature, for which civil suits are pending, allowing the 2 nd respondent to pursue his complaint in criminal proceedings is nothing but abuse of the process of law.

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REPORTABLE

IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
CRIMINAL APPELLATE JURISDICTION
CRIMINAL APPEAL NO.161 OF 2020
(Arising out of S.L.P.(Crl.)No.3627 of 2018)
Sardar Ali Khan …Appellant
vs
The State of Uttar Pradesh
through Principal Secretary
Home Department & Anr. …Respondents
J U D G M E N T
R.Subhash Reddy,J.

  1. Leave granted.
  2. This Criminal Appeal is filed by the accused in
    Complaint Case No.708 of 2012, registered in Police
    Station, Kaimganj, District Farrukhabad, Uttar Pradesh,
    for alleged offence under Sections 418, 419, 420, 467,
    468 and 471 IPC, aggrieved by an order dated 12th March,
    2018 passed by the High Court of Judicature at
    Allahabad in Criminal Miscellaneous Application No.5684
    of 2016. By the aforesaid impugned order, application
    2
    filed by the appellant herein under Section 482 Cr.P.C.
    is dismissed by the High Court.
  3. We have heard Sri Prashant Bhushan learned counsel
    assisted by Sri Omanakuttan K.K. and Sri Cheryl
    D’Souza, Advocates, for the appellant and Sri Sudarshan
    Rajan, learned counsel for the 2nd
    respondent/complainant.
  4. The dispute relates to plot No.102 (measuring
    0.101 hectare) which has been renumbered as plot
    No.102/2 situated in Yahiyapur, Post Kaimganj, Pargana
    Kampil, Tehsil Kaimganj, District Farrukhabad, U.P.
    Originally, the aforesaid plot was owned by the father
    of the 2nd respondent late Faheem Ali Khan and the
    appellant claims purchase of such plot by sale deed
    dated 29th December, 1993, registered on 5th January,
  5. Faheem Ali Khan died on 3rd December, 1997 and
    the 2nd respondent is one of the heirs of late Faheem
    Ali Khan. For the properties which were inherited upon
    2
    nd respondent on the death of Faheem Ali Khan, mutation
    was effected on 16th November, 1998.
  6. The 2nd respondent herein has filed Original Suit
    No.160 of 2008 which is pending on the file of Judicial
    Magistrate, Kayamganj in Farrukhabad district in case
    3
    No.160 of 2008. In the above said suit the 2nd
    respondent has claimed the following relief:-
    “(A) That the suit of the applicant should
    be declare by granting the permanent
    injunction against the defendant with the
    directions that the defendant is
    restrained from illegally and forcibly
    everything the applicant from the disputed
    property or any of its part and should not
    interfere with the peaceful ownership and
    possession of the applicant.
    (AA) The decree of cancellation of the
    sale deed dated 29/12/1993, which was
    presented for registration on 25/01/1994
    and the photocopy of which was entered on
    page number 65 of the book at people 111-
    252 at serial number 22 in the office of
    the sub registrar Kayamganj in the letter
    number 1, cover number 1156 at page number
    85/93 at serial number 22 on 20/01/1994,
    Chile ordered against the defendant and in
    favour of the applicant and the sub
    registrar office should be directed to
    make the entries accordingly.
    (B) That the defendant should pay the suit
    expenses to the applicant.
    (C) That any other relief which is deemed
    appropriate may be granted to the
    applicant.”
  7. With regard to very same plot, the appellant
    herein also filed a suit in Original Suit No. 474 of
    2008 for permanent injunction restraining the 2nd
    respondent from demolishing the constructions made by
    the appellant on the aforesaid plot. The said suit is
    also pending in Case No.474 of 2008 on the file of
    4
    Judicial Magistrate, Kayamganj in Farrukhabad district.
    The aforesaid suits were clubbed and in interlocutory
    applications filed by the parties, a common order to
    maintain status quo in respect of land in dispute was
    passed. Against the interim order, matters were
    carried in Civil Misc. Appeal Nos. 30 and 27 of 2009
    filed by the appellant whereas the respondent no.2 had
    filed Misc Appeal Nos. 28 and 29 of 2009. It is stated
    that all the said appeals were decided by a common
    order by the Additional District Judge and application
    for injunction filed by the appellant was allowed and
    application filed by the 2nd respondent was dismissed,
    against which matters were carried further by way of
    Civil Miscellaneous Writ Petitions which are stated to
    be pending before the High Court and no interim order
    is passed therein.
  8. On 10th April, 2012, brother of the appellant,
    Wasim Ali Khan filed a complaint under Section 200
    Cr.P.C. against the 2nd respondent herein alleging that
    he had stolen the original sale deed from the mutation
    file. On 20th September, 2012, the 2nd respondent has
    filed a complaint against the appellant and Wasim Ali
    Khan. On such complaint, a case was registered against
    the appellant and another for alleged offence under
    5
    Sections 418, 419, 420, 467, 468 and 471 IPC.
    Initially, the appellant filed an application for
    discharge which was rejected. Subsequently, he has
    filed application under Section 482 Cr.P.C for quashing
    of the above said proceedings and the summoning order
    issued by the Magistrate. On such application filed,
    the impugned order is passed by High Court rejecting
    the same.
  9. Having heard learned counsel for the parties, we
    have perused the impugned order and other material
    placed on record.
  10. At the outset it is to be noted that the appellant
    has purchased the plot in question by sale deed dated
    29th December,1993 which was registered on 5th January,
  11. The father of the 2nd respondent died on 3rd
    December, 1997. Though the registered sale deed is of
    1994, the 2nd respondent filed suit which is pending in
    O.S. No.160 of 2008, only in the year 2008 seeking
    cancellation of sale deed alleging that the aforesaid
    sale deed was got executed by the appellant and his
    brother, by making use of the acquaintance with his
    father, in a false and fraudulent manner. There is no
    allegation of impersonation or forgery of signatures in
    the suit filed by the 2nd respondent. It is the case of
    6
    the appellant that even the 2nd respondent is a
    signatory to the sale deed as a witness. Though the
    suit was filed in the year 2008, the 2nd respondent
    has chosen to file the criminal complaint only in the
    year 2012 alleging forgery and impersonation. With
    regard to the validity of the sale deed, matter is
    seized up before the competent civil court and it is
    for the civil court to decide whether any fraud is
    played or not by the appellant, on the late father of
    the 2nd respondent for obtaining the sale deed. When
    the very same issue is seized up before the civil
    court, the 2nd respondent cannot pursue criminal
    proceedings against the appellant for alleged offence
    under Sections 418, 419, 420, 467, 468 and 471 IPC.
    Although, it is contended by the learned counsel for
    the 2nd respondent that complaint filed is not barred by
    limitation but at the same time it appears, there is no
    reason for lodging private complaint in the year 2012.
    The sale deed on which basis the title and possession
    is claimed by the appellant was registered on 5th
    January, 1994, suit itself is filed nearly after 14
    years. Even after filing of the suit on 24th August,
    2008 there is further about 4 years’ delay in filing
    the criminal complaint against the appellant herein.
    7
    Allowing the proceedings to go on against the appellant
    who is stated to be about 87 years, in the above set of
    facts, is nothing but abuse of the process. It is to
    be noted that there is no allegation of impersonation
    and forgery of the signatures in the suit filed by the
    2
    nd respondent. In any event, when the suit filed by
    the 2nd respondent for cancellation of sale deed, is
    pending consideration before the competent court of
    law, the 2nd respondent cannot pursue his complaint in
    criminal proceedings by improving his case. Having
    regard to serious factual disputes which are of civil
    nature, for which civil suits are pending, allowing the
    2
    nd respondent to pursue his complaint in criminal
    proceedings is nothing but abuse of the process of law.
    For the aforesaid reasons we are of the considered view
    that the criminal proceedings are fit to be quashed by
    allowing this appeal.
  12. For the aforesaid reasons, this criminal appeal is
    allowed and the impugned order dated 12th March, 2018
    passed in Criminal Miscellaneous Application No.5684 of
    2016 by the High Court of Judicature at Allahabad is
    set aside, consequently, the application filed by the
    appellant under Section 482, Cr.P.C. stands allowed by
    quashing the proceedings in Complaint Case No.708 of
    8
    2012 for offence under Sections 418, 419, 420, 467, 468
    and 471 IPC on the file of Police Station Kaimganj,
    District Farrukhabad, Uttar Pradesh and consequential
    orders passed by the Magistrate also stand quashed.
  13. It is made clear that the observations and
    findings recorded in this order are only for the
    purpose of disposal of this appeal arising out of
    application filed under Section 482 Cr.P.C. It is open
    for the civil court to decide the various issues in the
    pending suits on their own merits, uninfluenced by this
    order. ………………………J.
    (MOHAN M. SHANTANAGOUDAR)
    ………………………J.
    (R. SUBHASH REDDY)
    NEW DELHI;
    January 24,2020